Spiritual Awakening, Growth, and Enlightenment/the Unknown and Invisible God
Hi Delilah, if God exists, he is definitely not able to be known.
I have searched for the Truth of who we are , what are we doing here, do we have an immortal soul etc.
I have researched all religions, including Catholics, Seventh Day Adventist and Jehovah's Witnesses.
They all say that they have the Truth and others, don't. I used to belive that we live on in a spirit body after the death of our body, until I came across the JW's who pointed out to me that in the Bible it never says that we have an immortal Soul. That has caused me a lot of confusion and frustration. My mind is bouncing from one belief to the other. I have concluded that, in this world, it is impossible to know the Truth, because it is a world of opposites. Years ago I read one of Marianne Williamson books, I also purchased the Text Book, A course in Miracles, but I just could not get into it, it is too heavy.
Could you please offer me some light at the end of tunnel, please?
If I understand your basic question is that you have been searching for the Truth about who we are through the many religions and other sources; and your mind is bouncing around from one belief to the next and you’re finding yourself feeling more confused and hopeless and no light at the end of the tunnel. My answer to you is based on A Course in Miracles, which you mentioned and is what I coach on, so my answer is based from it. I’ll try and point you back to get you started in a different direction.
All of what you have been describing is a part of your mind wondering about there being a better way. You’ve been searching through the ego’s solutions, i.e., the effect. You have to look outside the problem (effect) for the answer and directly to the cause and correct it there. In the Course, the cause is the decision making mind which chooses the ego or to forgive and return the mind to the Truth. The mind naturally returns to what it is but only when you give up or forgive what you’re clinging to as being real and true that is actually not. Only belief makes it appear real and true.
Out of everything you listed, the Course is the only book that is not a religion. It’s a book that provides an explanation for what’s happening in the mind and how to correct the mind of these false beliefs. Marianne Williamson is like all of us, a student; and like all of us, she will sometimes get it correct and sometimes use the ego (to present the Course incorrectly). We’re all in the same boat regardless of appearances and no one or thing is more special than another.
The Course is not a course in the beauty of Heaven, rather, it’s how to return your mind back to God where it remains despite this nasty dream we’re having. The way to remember God is to keep making choices that return your mind to peace regardless of circumstances, i.e., you’re not affected by them. Peace is the condition of the Kingdom so it’s necessary for your mind to eventually be there all the time so that God is remembered and we are His one Son (with a fragmented mind right now dreaming of separation).
Who we are, the Truth you are asking about has and never will be in question. The ego questions it and brings in the idea of death and what happens afterwards, etc. The ego is a thought system that acts like a veil in the mind and this world is a projected dream. That means this world is not real and so again, you cannot look to fix a problem that doesn’t exist within the non-existent problem. The ego is a hateful thought system and so this world never works because it reflects that hate. Every choice you make from which you feel hopelessness and despair means you’ve chosen with the ego.
You look back to the decision making mind that chose the ego and give it up that belief. You take the things you believe in here that are causing loss of peace to the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit in the Course, and together look at your choice and withdraw belief. That’s basic forgiveness. When you make a choice (the decision making mind as the source of the problem) to give up the ego and choose peace with Holy Spirit, joy is the result and that is how you know you chose with your true identity. The Holy Spirit is the guide to helping you unlearn the ego and learn His Vision (His thought system) that is presented in the Course.
The difference between the two is the ego is based in the idea of separation so it sees difference and specialness. The Holy Spirit sees sameness - whether the same ego (problem but in “different” forms), the same right mind (His vision) and the same ability to choose. That’s why there’s no hierarchy of illusions meaning you learn to treat all of what is going on in the world and your life with the same application of forgiveness or correcting your mind. It’s all the same ego problem and the same one solution.
These many beliefs in your life and the world become the classroom through which you learn forgiveness. I understand you find the text daunting; however, that too is the ego trying to get you not to read it because if you do and start practicing it, it will be the ego’s undoing. We are so fearful of the Truth about ourselves, we listen to the ego until we don’t and then we get down to the hard work.
The Course is individual study guided by the Holy Spirit. You will have to read the text and do the workbook lessons and you have your entire lifetime. You’re not expected to be perfect nor get it right all the time. You will make mistakes. Kenneth Wapnick has written a 2-book set called, “All Are Called” and “Few Choose To Listen.” The first outlines what the Course says and the second what it does not say, i.e., the mistakes students make in misinterpreting the Course. While the Truth in the Course is fearful and why we run from doing it or believe the ego to misinterpret it, on page 3 of “Few Choose To Listen,” he speaks directly about students not understanding, “the important distinction AND interface between the metaphysical (Level 1) and practical (Level II) on which A Course in Miracles is written. It is from the metaphysical absoluteness of the Course’s thought system that its practical teachings of forgiveness derive their power and meaning.” That means you read it, do the daily workbook lessons and also put it into practice. That is how you learn to forgive and hope returns in the mind.
Again, if you look to anything in the world to bring you something, you are looking to the ego and that is always hopelessness and suffering. Pleasure (through the body) is the same because it is part of this world, temporary and unreal or as you’re putting it, not the truth). The Course offers the permanent solution and like all of us, we have to want it, work at it, make our mistakes, forgive and keep on doing over time. Wanting to end the nightmare and to return your mind to God means everything - but it is difficult because every belief, every value that we have in this world must be questioned and forgiven, i.e., given back to the Atonement in peace (God’s solution to the Son’s nightmare dream). Only serious students understand the complete absoluteness of the Course’s thought system and that there can be no exceptions. Again, it takes time to learn it.
All of us at some point reach the stage you are at; and the Course is one answer. You are capable of understanding the text and applying the lessons. Just be gentle and kind with yourself about it. It’s not a race nor a competition (those are ego). If you do choose the Course, over time, the Holy Spirit will earn your trust as He becomes your guide instead of the ego. Choosing the ego leads to hopelessness and despair; but choosing to forgive and the Holy Spirit means joy and peace regardless of how things appear. God appears invisible or unknown through our choices with the ego because we've turned away; but forgiveness is the solution through which He is eventually remembered as is your true identity with Him as we turn back in the mind.
Our fear of the truth is great but since we made it, it our responsibility to correct it. Guilt is made up from the idea of “sin” because ideas do not leave us (their source) in the decision making mind. We are powerful minds and we must choose to correct out mind of our mistaken beliefs and as we are doing so, we find that punishment was also a made up belief with the ego. You are just as free to give up any mistaken belief as you are to keep one. It always comes down to the mind’s choice and for me, deciding that I no longer appreciated pretending to be a helpless victim (of the ego) in this world fuel my work with the Course. Just as I’ve made wrong decisions, I can have the Holy Spirit help me make right ones. So can you. We’re the same.
PS - Collin - let me put an addendum here based on your comment that you don't understand what 'forgive' has to do with your question. Forgiveness is the Course's term for correcting our mind of the beliefs with the ego, which is also the mistaken choices or error that lead us to believe this world is real and true. It's not forgiveness in the traditional sense, i.e., subject-object as the world teaches it. What I'm trying to say is that the Course teaches us to correct our mind of the ego and our beliefs in it - choice by choice - with our life and this world as the classroom in which we learn to "forgive" our mistaken ideas. In this way, our mind is returned to God. He's not invisible or unknown but seems that way right now merely because our belief is totally in this world, i.e., we're totally invested in the ego ideas. The Holy Spirit is the Voice for God we hear in the illusion or dream and when you are searching as you have been, you either are searching with the ego, or searching for how to forgive, correct your mind, or return to God. It's about learning to change internal teachers (ego or Holy Spirit). The Course does not address "immortal soul" in the way you are asking or the way religions do because it's not a religion. It's saying we are powerful minds with the ability to choose - and that we've made choices that lead us to believe we're separate from God; and we have the same ability to give up belief in those and choose peace with the Holy Spirit so that God (peace, joy) is "visible" or remembered - it affects how you perceive the world. That is the light at the end of the tunnel the Course offers and so again, forgiveness is merely correcting the mind of false beliefs about ourselves and this world. I hope that helps clarify what "forgive' means and that you understand it's "true" meaning comes with the experience of correction (when you've given up a false belief) which is the miracle in the mind. That light of love shines from joining in truth and heals.